Art Basel's Banana in Duct Tape is a well played out performance artwork, publicity stunt for the artists and Art Basel Gallery that has made them world-famous for the small cost of 120k. Now that is the public relations, in this instance in providing entertainment, and the business side of art used with a flourish.
while in my 565 years as a professional artist I never pulled these publicity stunts, I also never had my art exhibition advertised to the world, as I preferred a less gimmicky PR campaign.
This is a reminder to all artists who want to succeed, that public relations and business skills are 2/3 of the work of the artist. The production of art is the remaining 1/3rd.
If you do not work a balanced three skills, PR—Business—Production, approach to art then you cannot succeed in making art your business.
Your PR and business model can be conservative. Mine ranged from from inviting Newspapers and TV channel to a newsworthy event of my handing over a major work of art to a charity for their fundraising, as a promotion for my art show, to going on the talk show trail from local radio to major ranking talk shows, or to what today's young artists are working social media, but PR must be a highly active part of the work of a selling artist if they seek to earn a living in art.
I think we all agree that this is the art of public relations—and as such it was a huge success in ensuring with the art buyers of the style of this gallery, their name won't be forgotten and this exhibition is sure to draw a crowd.
No one ever claimed the banana in duct tape was fine art. No one being conned here, just good fun—and a reminder to us that art does not sell itself.
I wasn't a disgruntled artist, I was a successful one, and I ran an art supply store within my multi-award-winning art gallery. That store sold more high-quality art supplies during the time I managed it, without any theft from staff—as having ethics, I attracted loyal ethical followers.
The reason my art store sold more of the quality supplies than any other in my state in Australia at that time was that I gave free advice with a purchase.
That worked for decades—then, with internet growth, it changed. Artists would come to me from outside my area, pretended they wished to purchase materials, asked questions, sort an art demonstration of the products, literally conned me into giving them a private art lesson. Then, having worked out what they wanted, they walked out the door and no doubt ordered the goods from a discount online store.
I closed the supplies store door to all aside from the artists I taught. I have no time for people who mess you about.
Being a poor artist doesn't excuse a lack of integrity. I'd never con a storekeeper like that, nor steal from them.
Honesty doesn't cost anything—even poor artists can effort to treat store owners with respect.